Hello, my name is Joe Stearnes, and I serve as one of the elders and one of the ministers on staff with the Broward Church and on behalf of the Broward Church, I wanted to bring you a word of encouragement before our message. Today, we’re in a three part series that focuses on the… See more
Hello, my name is Joe Stearnes, and I serve as one of the elders and one of the ministers on staff with the Broward Church and on behalf of the Broward Church, I wanted to bring you a word of encouragement before our message.
Today, we’re in a three part series that focuses on the sovereignty of God. It’s called God Still Has the whole world in his hands. Many of us have used the phrase God is in control, and that is the truth, and many of us say it to to comfort ourselves or to encourage ourselves. But in this series, we’re taking a more focused look at the sovereignty of God. And when we do that, it can be challenging as we unpack what it means for God to be sovereign.
It could bring up questions. It can even be disturbing or challenging to us. Last week, Tony began teaching this series and he read many scriptures on the sovereignty of God. I know some of you may have come away from that with some questions are being challenged. I know that there are some common questions that come up when it comes to the sovereignty of God. An example of that would be if God is in control, why is there’s still evil in the world?
Or a related question would be, if God has sovereign authority over people in authority, why are there a lot of bad leaders in the world? Why are there leaders who are corrupt or oppressive or selfish? Another question that might come up, I’ve even had discussions this week with people about this is if God is sovereign, what about my free will? What about the choices that God himself has given me, the ability to make? Where does my free will leave off?
Where does God’s sovereignty pick up? And is that even the right way to think about it? Of course, another question is, if God is in control, why am I going through the difficulties that I’m going through? Anybody could ask that. I’m comforted by the fact that the Bible gives us some principles that can help us with those questions. But any student of the Bible could recognize God is not giving us complete answers to all of those questions.
And so God has given us a space where we have to decide, are we going to trust God even when we don’t have all of the answers? And our encouragement to you today is this choose to trust God because he is trustworthy, our God is a God who is innately good, who is not guilty of sin. The very essence of God is that he’s a god of love. We know that God even gave his son and sacrificed his son to deal with the evil it’s in the world.
I actually am proud of our national model where it says in God we trust, but our challenge to you today is to take it even higher than trust in God, and that is to rejoice. We’ve got a sovereign. It is a happy, wonderful thing that God is in control. It is a joyous thing that God still has the whole world in his hands. Hi, everybody, and welcome to the church online service, as always, we are encouraged that you’ve chosen to spend your Sunday with us and we’re glad that you’ve joined us here together.
He’s still got the whole world in his hands
We are in week two of a series that we’re calling. He’s still got the whole world in his hands. Before we dive in, I want to just encourage you, because each week we ask you to share the message with people on your profile or with groups that you’re a part of. And the reason we ask is because the truth is it makes a huge difference. As you share, more people are reached and each person that’s reached has an opportunity to be touched by the Ministry of Jesus.
And now, you know, now they’re all digital. And now that we’re kind of mostly online in terms of a lot of the things that we do, it’s remarkably simple to share the message of Jesus. You don’t have to have awkward conversations with anybody. You don’t have to drive anywhere. It’s very, very simple. All it takes is just a moment. And in that moment, you can reach thousands of people with the Ministry of God, all by simply clicking the share button.
And so I just want to implore you share this message. And so if you’re one of the 600 families or so who watch this every single week, I’d like to ask you again to take a moment, share the message on your page, share it with some friends, share in a group, because, again, God is trying to reach many more people and I believe he can reach them through you. With that being said, the reason I’m especially impassioned by this week and asking you to share this week is because the message I have, I believe, will challenge us and encourage us and inspire us to gain a new perspective on uncertainty.
So if you know anybody that’s dealing with uncertainty, whether it’s in their job and their health or they’re looking at this political climate and they see very uncertain about the future, this might be a perfect message for them. I’m going to leave that there and we’re going to come back to it a little bit later. But for right now, if you have a Bible, you can share with me to mark Chapter 14. You know, one of the most dramatic moments in the Bible and in fact, in all of human history took place towards the end of Jesus’s ministry.
Jesus disciples came into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover dinner together. Passover was a meal of remembrance where the Jewish people would gather together to remember, to celebrate what had happened hundreds of years earlier when the Israelites were in Egyptian captivity, Egyptian slavery. The Israelites before the Passover dinner had been in Egypt for around 400 years. It started off as a small family and later became a nation numbering about a million people, a million people who all they known for their whole entire existence, all of their history was slavery.
And these people prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed for God to deliver them out of slavery. And for four hundred years, their prayers went unanswered. Can you just imagine that some of us pray for four days without hearing an answer? We feel like God has left us. Can you imagine? Four hundred years and their prayers seem to go unanswered. And finally, God sends them deliver a man named Moses. And you’re familiar with the story.
The story of Moses is long and beautiful, but. But one day and basically says tomorrow we’re leaving. And tonight what’s going to happen is an angel of death is going to come and it’s going to pass over the land of Egypt and it’s going to kill the first born of all the homes that do not have the blood of the lamb over there doorpost. And so the Israelites took Moses at his word. They slaughtered a lamb and they had what we now call the Passover meal.
They put blood in their doorpost and they and if you’ve heard this story, you’ll remember that the night that that night, the angel of the Lord came and passed over all of Egypt and the next morning, the Egyptians woke up and there was death and mourning everywhere in Egypt. That was the final sign given to Pharaoh, and he finally listened and said to the Israelites, you may go the next day they left Egypt, the Israelites left Egypt, and they headed to a land. That would later be called the Promised Land.
Jesus and the Passover
Now, fourteen hundred years later and marked Chapter 14, we find Jesus and his disciples having that same dinner, the Passover meal. They had done this before throughout Jesus’s ministry. Every year they had celebrated the Passover meal. As a matter of fact, since they were children, they had celebrated the Passover year. But this year was a little bit different. A year ago, when they celebrated Passover, things were remarkably different in Jesus’s ministry. A year ago, Jesus was a star.
He was a cultural icon. He was a celebrity of sorts. Thousands of people gathered to hear him speak, to see his miracles, to be transformed by his teachings and the way he would pour into people’s lives. And the disciples were feeling like a year ago that they had found their man, that they were going to be on his left and on his right when they got to glory. They were so excited and how could they be? Things were going great and momentum was on their sides.
The crowds were getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and the miracles were getting grander and grander and grander. But that was a year ago. And since then, things had dramatically changed. This time, as they gathered for what we now call the Last Supper, things weren’t going well at all. Momentum had turned against them. There were rumors that they that there was a group of people trying to capture Jesus, isolate him from those crowds who had adorned him so much, get him alone and arrest him.
And the disciples knew that if Jesus was arrested, they, too, might be arrested. And so there begins to be a dramatic amount of a large amount of fear within the hearts of the disciples. But it got even worse because it wasn’t just the fear about being arrested, but something strange started happening. Jesus started to begin very started to begin talking very openly about his death. It was no longer just about being captured, but it was about being killed.
But the disciples didn’t want to get it, they just filtered all of that out because in their way of thinking, much like our way of thinking, they believe that if God was with them, then things would get better. Sure. Sure, things are bad, but God is not with me. Things are going to get better. If God were with them, if this, in fact, Jesus was God or God’s son, there would be more certainty and not less certainty.
And we see within the narrative that Jesus’s disciples tried to rally as much courage as they possibly could, thinking that, you know, that Jesus being arrested was a terrible thing, thinking I won’t have it. And one of the most famous passages is when Jesus interacts with Peter, one of the apostles. This is Mark, Chapter 16. Sorry, Matthew, Chapter 16. It says Peter took him. Peter took him aside. That’s Jesus to him as Jesus.
Peter took him aside and rebuked him. Never. Lord, he said, this shall never happen to you. He’s like, I’m going to be arrested. I’m going to be handed over. I’m going to be killed. He goes, Never. This will never happen to you. Verse twenty three. Jesus turned and said to Peter, Get behind me, Satan. You’re a stumbling block to me. You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.
He has this courage, this moment where he goes, no, no, no, no, bad things aren’t going to happen to you. And she just looks at him and goes, the reason you think that is because you’re only concerned about the things of the world. The reason why you look at life and think that only good things are going to happen is because you don’t understand and you have no perspective on eternity.
Jesus in Jerusalem
Oh. On another occasion, the disciples were going into Jerusalem and he said, you know, I’m going to go to Jerusalem and things are going to get really, really, really bad. And of course, they’re like us. They ask the question, the basic reason, why are we going? Why are we going? Seems as if Jesus had a death wish, it was as if he was walking into the jaws of death.
And so they actually do make their way into Jerusalem a couple of days before the story that we’re about to read, they make their way into Jerusalem and they got in and actually nothing bad happened. In fact, everyone celebrated. You might remember this Palm Sunday. They laid palms on the floor. There was this triumphal entry and everyone shouted, Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna! But the next day, Jesus is in Jerusalem and he begins to flip over the money changers.
And to drive out people who were basically making the temple into a marketplace and he drives them out, and those celebrations slowly turn to accusations which slowly become this rumor mill that someone is going to try to kill Jesus. So after those two long days in Jerusalem, Jews, Jesus goes towards the Mount of Olives. Eventually, we believe that he lands in Bethany, resting for his last trip back to Jerusalem. And so the following day, he comes back to Jerusalem.
But this time there is no celebration. There are no shouts of Hosanna. Instead, they wait for the sun to set and Jesus sends two of them in to meet this mysterious man. And they go into this mysterious place where Jesus has prearranged a Passover meal. So they sneak into Jerusalem under the cover of night and they gather there in this upper room. And it must have been so strange for the disciples. Can you think about it? Only a year ago, there were crowds following and shouting and saying, you’re amazing and I want to follow you.
And people were trying to make him king. And here they are a year or so later and they’re in they have to come in and the cover of night, they’re inconspicuous. They want no one to see that they’re even there. What is happening? I thought if I was with God, things would be better, but things are getting worse, all the momentum is gone. I thought they were going to crown him king and now they want to crown him with a thorn with the crown of thorns.
What’s going to happen next as all the certainty is faded? As if it wasn’t bad enough, Jesus begins to have a conversation with them about what they would later do. This is Mark, Chapter 14. If you want to follow along with me in verse 17, it says this.
When the evening came, Jesus arrived with the 12 that’s set that upper room to have this last supper while they were there reclining at the table, eating. He said, truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me. Literally one of you is going to hand me over. The momentum has shifted. So much things are not going well that he is telling them someone is going to betray me.
One of those chosen to gather around the sacred table to celebrate the moment of God’s faithfulness, one of them eating with them is going to betray the son of God. Can you think how tense that would be, can you just imagine the fear, the anxiety, they were saddened and one by one they said, surely you don’t mean me.
It is one of the 12, he replied, one who dips bread into the bowl with me, the son of man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to the man who betrays the son of man. It would be better for him if he had not been born. The celebrating has faded, the moment tentative is the intensity is rising, it’s an unsure time, it’s a moment of bewilderment, a moment of fear, a moment of anxiety.
It’s a moment of uncertainty. I want to stop here, going to come back to the story, but I want to talk a little bit about this idea of moments of uncertainty, because this book, the book that we read, the the book that’s in the hands of so many of us is we’re listening to this sermon. The Bible is full of narratives that take place in the midst of extraordinary uncertainty. In fact, I would say that that as we as a society, as a society, as families are as people, as a nation, as a as a culture, as we face tremendous uncertainty with the election that’s looming, with the tension that’s in our country, with the anger that seems to be continuously mounting, with fear at the highest level it’s ever been, an anxiety so potent you can almost taste it.
In our culture, we’re all this is just rampant and in high supply as we face uncertainty like we’ve never faced it before. I want to encourage you because the word of God is the perfect place to run. There’s never been a better time to run to the Bible as we were facing extraordinary uncertainty, because the book that we read, the text that we learned from our favorite passages of scripture, the verses that we love so much, pretty pretty much all of them were written and reflect a time of extraordinary uncertainty.
In fact, I believe that every single narrative, every single passage that draws our hope and our that we that we draw our hope and our security from they come from the lives of people who realized that in the midst of uncertainty, God is still certain.
The stories that we love the most are the stories where men or women were able to kind of piece together all of this craziness that was happening in their life. And they were able to think, you know what, in the midst of this craziness, God is still present. God is still faithful. They could not necessarily trace God’s hand, it all seemed like he was absent. It seemed like he had lost control, like he was on the losing end.
The story that we find the most hope in our through the eyes of people who discovered that even though nothing could be trusted and nothing could be assured, God was still in control. Let me give you a few examples. Last week, I read a lot of different passages. This week, I just want to share with you a couple of stories. I want to summarize these stories and I think they’ll be encouraging for you. It’s in the Bible that we read that we find the story of Joseph, who’s who’s the son of Jacob.
Joseph was a teenager who found himself at the bottom of a well and above him, he hears his brothers having a conversation, brothers who had lowered him into that. Well, and this is the conversation they’re having. They’re having this conversation. Should we sell him or should we kill him? Joseph is having Joseph is listening to his brothers talk about him saying, should we sell our brother Joseph or should we kill our brother Joseph? No, let’s sell them.
No, let’s let’s kill them. Listen, and I realize you have some sibling rivalry. You know, there’s some fights about an inheritance or, you know, she wore my shirt or whatever, but here is Joseph at the bottom of a well, do we sell them or do we kill them? And you read the story and you discover, believe it or not, that God was still in control, that he was with Joseph at the bottom of that well, and that he would permit the horrible sin of his brothers in order to save many lives.
I don’t understand it. I don’t get it. But I understand clearly that God was there, even though in that moment it looked like his hand couldn’t be traced. It’s in the Bible that we read the story of King David, through whom the lady of Jesus would come. And one day David is awoken because he discovers that his son has raised an army and is about to invade the capital city and try to conquer him and kill him and replace him as king.
And some of you have trouble with your kids, but this is a whole other level. Imagine your kids raising an army to kill you.
And you read the story and what you discover is that even in the middle of all of that, God is still present, that God is with David, that the purpose of bringing the savior to the world could not be thwarted by anyone or anything that God was certain, even though certainly David felt like his world was completely, completely uncertain. Then there’s a story that most of us have heard growing up about a mother who had a baby boy. And like every mother who loves her son, when she heard that Ferrell had decided to murder all the all the baby boys, this mother would wrap her newborn son and place him in a basket and shove him into the Nile River, as if to say if it’s between the crocodiles or the Egyptian butchers, I will take my chances in the river.
And you read this story and you discover that even with a baby pushed into a river, God was there and that the evil of Pharaoh did not subvert the plans of God, that in fact, God would use Pharaoh’s stubbornness and his unrepentant heart to be a catalyst for the freedom of God’s people. That’s a federal shame the baby would actually be raised in his court and be treated perfectly and with great honor, and one day this baby boy, Moses, was raised up and deliver God’s people out of the hands of a stubborn king.
Just think about it before that mother knew the end of the story. In that uncertain time. In that terrible, terrible moment when it felt like everything was falling apart around us, around her, it might be easy for her to have asked where is God, where is God, how did God’s plan make any sense to a woman who had to give up her baby and push them down a river? How did it make any sense to the man, to the boy trapped in a well?
How did it make any sense to a man, a man no less after God’s own heart, who was being hunted down by his own son? Where was God in any of that? See, those stories that we are inspired by, we’re inspired by them because those characters are able to see God through the fog of distress, see God’s plan through the craziness of the world in which they lived in. And see, this is just the story of the Bible.
Isn’t just the story in this isn’t just the stories in the Bible, but it’s also the story of God’s people forevermore. I want to tell you a little bit about the apostles. These are the men who went far and wide to herald the message of Jesus, to herald the message of a risen savior and early legend, say this is so cool that they casted lots to divide up the world. They were going, you know, I’m going to go there and you’re going to go here and you’re going to go there to determine who would bring the message of Jesus to all those different places.
Their dream was God’s dream, and yet all of them suffered greatly for their faith. And in most cases, they met a violent death. Peter and Paul were both killed in Rome. Andrew was crucified in Greece. Thomas preached as far as India and was stabbed with a spear. Phillip and Bartholomew were also martyred. Matthew stabbed to death in Ethiopia. James was stoned, Simon, the zealot killed in Persia after refusing to sacrifice to another God, Bartholomew I’m sorry, Matteus burned to death.
But what they could have never guessed. And obviously, they understood it because they were willing to die, they’re willing to face uncertain times, but what they would have never been able to guess is that their small work would change the whole world’s.
See, they were willing to see past the momentary suffering, the momentary uncertainty, because they believed that God was still certain.
So you read the story and you discover that even in the midst of brutality and evil and even in the midst of sin and the death of his own son, God is still there, that somehow God still has the whole world in his hands, every single story. Read them, read them for yourself, honestly, just take a moment and just read them, but every single story it feels like God has is lost control, like it’s all spun out of control, like all the momentum is backwards, like all God’s activity has ceased, that the bad guys have definitely won.
The king is one that the God of the evil pagans has one. Read the stories and it feels like there’s just extraordinary uncertainty. And then all of a sudden God steps in and is still able to accomplish, as will achieve his plans. In spite of Manson, in spite of man’s evil, God stands as kind of a hero, was able to flip a situation that looks terrible and make it beautiful, offers glory and all for those who love him.
And see, the reason I mentioned these stories is because nothing has changed. In the midst of our uncertainty. Nothing has changed. And it looks like everything is falling apart. Nothing has changed. God still has the whole world in his hands. God still has a plan. He still has a purpose, even if it looks like the bad side is one. God. Still making his purposes through it, God has the whole world in his hands, so let me take you back to the room with Jesus and get a real sense of this.
This is Mark, chapter 14, verse twenty two. When they were eating, Jesus took bread and given thanks, he broke it and gave to the disciples saying, take this, this is my body. Remember, they’re eating the Passover meal. And Jesus says, Oh yeah. By the way, this isn’t what you think it is. You had been eating the Passover meal since you were a child. But now when you eat it, this is my body.
This is my body broken for you. Do you know what this means? It means I’m going to die.
Jesus again, the disciples don’t understand all that will will turn out by the death, the burial and resurrection of Jesus. But but again, he’s talking about this negative stuff. Again, he’s talking about this negative stuff again and he keeps on going. He says then he took a cup when he gave thanks, he gave it to them and said and they all drank it. This is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. And he foreshadows what’s going to take place in a couple of hours.
There’s going to be nailed to a cross in front of their eyes. And then what happens is they leave the room there, they leave the room, go to the garden of get somebody. And there’s so much drama. Eventually Jesus is arrested because Judas was the one who betrayed him. But then the news gets even worse, remember all those guys who said, I’ll never leave you, I’ll never forsake you? Well, twenty seven Jesus makes this statement, you will all fall away.
Jesus told them for as written, I will strike the sheep, I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will scattered. And Peter.
It’s following along and he’s thinking, you know, he’s listening to this and he’s heard Jesus talk about the bread, he’s going to die and the blood and and he’s about to be arrested and all these things. And Jesus Jesus is Peter is like enough with this kind of negativity, enough with this bad news. Enough about death, enough about arrest, enough about betrayal, enough about uncertainty. And this is what he says in verse twenty nine says Peter declared, even if all fell away, I will not.
Because that’s not how the story is supposed to go, even if everybody abandons you. I will not fall the way I’ll stick it out with you. And later, what we find is that with this man, with all this man’s faith, he would listen to a young girl, accuse him of being one of Jesus’s followers, and he would deny Jesus not just once, not just twice, but thrice, three times. Now, here’s the question for me and for you as we continue through a conversation about God’s sovereignty, as we recognize and understand that we are living in the midst of extraordinary uncertainty, and here you have Jesus speaking to this man and going, look, hey, look, look, you’re going to leave me two times are going to get really, really, really bad is like, no, they won’t get that bad.
Jesus, like, they’re going to get really bad and they’re going to get really bad for you. So as we look at life and maybe God is telling us things are going to get better, but I don’t know. Let’s let’s play the opposite side. Let’s just imagine that things get worse, that there’s more uncertainty, that there’s more uncertainty with your family, with your job, with your children, with politics, with Congress, with the Senate, with local leaders that you know, who knows what’s all going to happen with that, with state economics, with with your retirement and your and and if you’re going to school with your ability to go to school or not to your work or to your trips, let’s say it gets even even worse.
Like Jesus, you know, like Jesus says to Peter, look, it’s going to get worse. Let’s imagine that it gets even worse. Here’s a question for you. Can you trust God?
And maybe let me ask that question a little bit more specifically, can you maintain faith in God when there is no evidence of his activity in your life?
And let me ask it in a way that fits the theme of this sermon series, can you still trust God? Let’s say things get worse. Can you still trust him? Can you continue to embrace faith in God when there’s absolutely no evidence of his plans? Can you trust God when you have no idea what will become of your life, what will become of our country? Can you trust him when you have no clue about what’s happening? Can you trust him even though everything is uncertain?
Can you trust him even though his plans are certainly not your plans and his design is not the design you would have chosen? Can you trust him when you look at the political climate and when you look at the coronavirus and you look at the division in our country and you look at him and you go, OK, there’s so much terrible out there, can you still trust that he has a purpose, that he has a plan, that it’s all going to be good?
Can you still trust God? And let me just tell you this. Your answer to that question, your response to this question will determine will determine whether or not you can find peace in this world. Your answer to this question will determine your response to the continual continual uncertainty that comes. Can you still trust him, even if it looks like it’s all terrible? Your answer to that question? My answer to that question will determine our our response to the uncertainty in our lives and the uncertainty with our children and our family and our friends and our parents.
Your answer in my answer to this question will ultimately affect whether or not you’re able to fully the anxiety in your mind, whether or not you’re able to have unity with your brothers and sisters, whether you’re able to have hope in your heart. Do you still trust him or do you only trust him when things are great? When everything wonderful has been given to you, can you trust him when things are not going your way? Do you trust him with what will happen on November the 3rd?
I need to get the date for the election. Right. And every other day that follows or will you decide to pass judgment on him because you don’t understand what he’s doing? Those are really your options. Do you trust them or will you pass judgment? But that’s the question. Sea life is uncertain. And God’s promises, God’s rather, God doesn’t promise that he will make your life certain, but it does promise that he will make your life good.
And see, the strange thing is this. And here’s the dilemma. And this is so extraordinarily important.
As Peter says, I will never leave you. We will fight back. We won’t die. Stop talking like this. As Peter stood up to change the course of God’s plan to make what seemed like a bitter and into a bitter end, Peter is trying to orchestrate an author life. That’s all he’s trying to do is going, look, you don’t have to die. You don’t have to make it all. What he’s trying to make life a little bit more understandable for his mortal mind, but what he misses.
What he missed in that moment and what he missed when he stood up to Jesus and said, no, no, Jesus, you will not die, Jesus. Get behind me. Saying what he missed in that moment was that Jesus going to the cross. Yes. Was going to be a terrible time, but it was also going to be the greatest work in human history. When he was handed to the Roman guards carrying the cross to Calvary, pierced through his wrist and through his feet, hanging on a criminal’s cross as he as he was wounded there for our transgressions.
What Peter missed was that all of that stuff that all of that stuff, though it seemed bitter, actually forged the path for salvation for the world. Imagine if Peter got his way, there would be no saviour. Imagine if Peter got his way and he cleared out all the uncertainty, there would be no salvation for you or for me or for your family or for your children or for anybody else. Imagine if Peter got his way, we would not have this family that we have as a church.
What would happen is that all of us would still be dead in our sins. Here is a mortal man trying to orchestrate the creator of all things, and he doesn’t even know what he’s talking about. Peter didn’t get it. And what I’m here to say is that you don’t get it either. So what happens on November 3rd? You you’re not going to get it. Why did this happen? You’re not going to understand. You’re never going to understand when someone a loved one and I mourn for you.
I mourn for you and I feel it. But when a loved one gets sick and it feels like there’s no way there’s no way that God can make something beautiful, all I’m trying to say is you don’t get it. You don’t understand how he’s going to piece all of it together, all the uncertainties and make something beautiful. See, Peter didn’t get it, but later he would understand it. As he stood up 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus, he would say this Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs which God did among you.
I’m sorry. Among you threw him as you yourself know. Listen to this verse twenty three. This man, he finally gets it was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan. And for knowledge and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross, but God raised him up from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death because it was impossible for death to keep hold on him. In this moment, you know, Peter was trying to orchestrate life, Peter was trying to decide how everything was going to work out for him.
He was trying to clear away all the uncertainty. But here he finally realized that all of it was God’s deliberate plan. It was his plan. God knew all along he was able to take. He was able to turn the evil of this moment into a pathway of salvation for many. Salvation for everybody. See, this must have been the darkest moment in the disciples life, the darkest moment in their lives would have they would have it would have seemed like all was lost.
Everyone was betraying him. All had fallen the way Jesus was arrested, tried, and he died. And in that moment, it felt very much like God was absent. But if they were able to look at it a little bit differently, what they would have seen is that their darkest hour, God was doing what? In their darkest hour? God was doing his greatest work. In their darkest hour, God was doing his greatest work and what it seemed, he was completely inactive.
He was actually most active because in those darkest hours was the epicenter of salvation for all of mankind. These would be the hours that literally thousands of years later, people all over the world would go back and rejoice at the goodness and the grace of God. But in the moment, again, it looked like game over. I say all of this, brothers and sisters. Because what’s reflected in this story in the story of the gospel is also reflected in many of our experiences, that when God seems to wait for the last minute to do his, that it often seems like God waits for the last minute to do his amazing work, that it seems like when it seems like life is hopeless and the situation won’t work out and that you would never allow that much bad to happen and you’re angry at God, just wait a little bit and just trust in him.
And it may take a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time. But God is carving that image that’s so ugly and so dirty into something so beautiful. But again, the question for you and the question for me is, will we maintain faith when we cannot see his hand? As our faith begins to shudder, as our faith begins to shake, as we begin to not be able to put the pieces all together, will we be able to trust in?
And if this is you if you feel like, you know what, I want to begin to trust in him and this is a declaration, this is declaration, here’s what I would like for you to declare. You can put it in the chart. God, I still trust you. Can I still trust you? I may not understand it all, but I still trust you in the chat. Can you write it down? I still trust you.
I still trust you. Even though I want one side or a one party to win. I still trust you with who is going to become president. I trust you, God. I trust you with my kids. I trust you with my marriage. I trust you with my health. I trust you with my finances. Even if I don’t see it, Lord, I still trust you. And if things get really, really, really, really, really bad, I’m going to hold on to the idea that I can still trust you because you have the whole world in your hand.
Now, some of you say, and this is nice and maybe a little bit inspirational, but it’s not going to help me in my job, so I’m going to help me get my my prodigal son back. It’s not going to change anything. It’s not going to change my disappointment about what happens. It’s not going to do anything. It’s not going to make the sickness go away. And you’re right. You’re 100 percent right. If there’s ever been a moment in my life where I wish things could end, I would actually have them end.
Like, this is the moment right now. Please let them end. I pray all the time that God would let all this uncertainty end. But this is our message, although that idea is true, that that that this is not going to help you like practically. The fact is that what we’re talking about in scripture is true and it doesn’t change anything about your circumstances, that’s true. But what it does is it allows you to embrace uncertainty with the certainty that God is in control.
Let me say that again, because that’s super important. All that I’m talking about today is trying to ask you to wade with me into the waters of uncertainty, looking at life a little bit differently and realizing that, OK, I can embrace the uncertainty because I believe that God is still in control. God is not uncertain. The life is there, my family is there, the economics are the God is not uncertain. He still has the whole world in his hands.
And this knowledge embracing it, you may have to do it with with fingertips, you may have to do it gritting your teeth, you may have to do with some real fights and some real discussions with people who help you through your faith. You may have to do it with some wrestling in prayer. It may be really difficult to face, but what we will discover is that you can if you can hold on to this idea when you go to bed at night and you close your eyes, you will find peace because you trust that there is an eternal immortal perfect in all of his ways God who still is in perfect control. God is in control. God is on the throne. God is still a God you can worship with abandonment and even though life is uncertain, he is not.